Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How to reset a Windows password without third party tools

Whilst there are many tools that can change Windows account passwords, I personally like to do it manually as it doesn't take very long.

This trick will not work if you have Bitlocker full disk encyption - and, if you have EFS (Encrypting File System), your keys will become lost (as with any password resetting method).

Firstly, you need access to your hard drive - this can be from anywhere that has NTFS Write access (The easiest method is a Windows Vista/7 installation disk).

If you chose a Windows installation disk, simply boot from it and then at the first screen (Language/Location/Keyboard) click next, followed by holding Shift+F10. This will launch a command prompt window.

Depending on the amount of partitions and setup you have, Windows may be on a different drive. Try typing the following:

If this doesn't look like your hard drive, try changing c to d, and go through the alphabet until you reach your hard drive.

Once there, type the following:

ren osk.exe osk_old.exe
copy cmd.exe osk.exe
Next, reboot Windows.

From here, click the accessibility\wheelchair icon and then the On Screen Keyboard option.

This will now launch a Command Prompt window as `SYSTEM` (Be careful!).

You have two options : the quickest, to change the password from the command line is:
net user username password
(Change username and password to... well, you can guess!).

There will be no confirmation, it will simply just change.

If you would rather use a UI, type `mmc` and press enter. From here, go to "File" > "Add/Remove Snap-in", Click "add", and choose "Local Users and Groups". click "close", then "ok".

Expand "Local Users and Groups" > "Users", and right click on a user, followed by "Set Password"... Choose whatever you want, and you are done!

To reset the earlier system changes, you have two options.

First, get to the command prompt from the Windows setup disk in the same way and type:

x: (where x is the drive)
del osk.exe
ren osk_old.exe osk.exe

or, if you would rather just do it without the disk, go back to the login screen, launch command prompt and type this:

start cmd
(Close the original command prompt window)
del osk.exe
ren osk_old.exe osk.exe

and done!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great tips to recover lost windows password!!! There is another way to reset windows user password with the use of windows administrator account. But in the case you don't have access of windows administrator account, you need to use password recovery tool to reset windows password if above method didn't work for you.

  3. You can go the same using Sticky Keys (sethc.exe), hit the shift key many times at login screen :)

  4. Hi, nice method !!
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    It helped me many times !

  5. thanks for the good blog post. It was very helpful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. gratitude for sharing the such knowledge with us,

  6. Its great as your other blog posts : D, regards for posting .
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  8. hi..Very good post..For those who are in troubles with something like this, check this powerfull password unlocker see here http://resetlostwindowspassword.blogspot.com/

  9. Thanks for your great trick! A few days ago, I had met the headache things that I had forgotten Windows 8 password. The login screen rejected my passwords. I was frustrated because there was very important data on my disk and I couldn’t reinstall the OS. ………….
    However, I fortunately got to know the PCUnlocker utility, which is a professional windows password recovery tool for us to reset Windows password instantly yet no data loss.

  10. Hmm how about when you try and launch local users and groups and it says this snap in is not used with this edition of windows 8?

  11. Hello,
    I forgot my password for windows 8.1. I have often used my fingerprint to access my laptop but I had to switch to safe mode to fix few things. at this stage, it just request the password which I cannot remember at all. Does the process mentioned above work with windows 8.1?

    If yes, would you please tell me how to open the Command Prompt?

    Thank you,

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  13. The newest version of Ultimate Boot CD will allow you to change the password in Windows 8/8.1. That said, there are many good tools listed in the responses here. Find the one that works best for you and go with it.

    You can also try some third party program if you won't use command line, like iSeePassword windows password recovery tool.

    Hope it works.

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